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Arabs excited by end of probation

May 18, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

When Imperial Valley College athletic director Jim Mecate learned Wednesday that the school's men's basketball team would no longer be on probation, he was ecstatic.

The Arabs had been put on three years probation by the Pacific Coast Conference because of a violation of the league's Rule 12, which deals with subsidizing athletes.

Under the stipulations of the probation, IVC had not been allowed to compete for the PCC conference championship or go to the playoffs for the past two seasons. The third year of probation was designed mostly as a follow-up to the first two. Had they not been taken off probation the Arabs would have still had to make quarterly reports to the PCC but would have been eligible for postseason play.

Mecate thinks the chance to compete for the PCC crown will be the most important thing for the IVC basketball team.


"They're excited," he said. "Every team wants to compete for the title. Hopefully this will help increase recruiting locally."

While Mecate thinks the probation did not hurt the team's recruiting, he believes it hurt the team's desire.

"The morale was slightly affected," he added. "The hopes to compete for a championship were not there, but now they're all excited."

He said the school learned a lesson from the sanctions.

"We learned from it," Mecate said. "Hopefully we'll be a little more organized."

The main thing for the Arab men's basketball team, however, will be the chance to play for the PCC title. And after a couple of dismal seasons, Mecate thinks the team is ready to make a turnaround after a record of 3-21 (0-10 PCC) last season.

"Hopefully they'll do better this season," he said. "They're out there working hard and they've got a big carrot in front of them. They can work for that."

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